Trying to watch HBO Max, HBO Go or HBO Now from abroad? You may have found some of these services offer different content or don’t work altogether. A Virtual Private Network (VPN) for HBO can help you to spoof your location and appear as if you are browsing the web from back home.
HBO offers some form of programming in more than 50 countries. However, there’s a lack of consistency when it comes to its streaming services. For instance, HBO Max is US-only at the moment, whereas HBO Go is available in most of the world. Users from unsupported countries who try to use these services will simply see an error that says “Not in service area” or “Out of service”.
The good news is that it’s relatively easy to bypass these restrictions, even if you’re somewhere that HBO doesn’t operate. All you have to do is connect to a VPN server in your home country. This changes your IP address, making it appear as though you’re somewhere else and tricking HBO into letting you watch while traveling abroad. As a bonus, the best VPNs securely encrypt your traffic, which helps keep your online activities hidden from snoopers like your ISP, employer, or the government.
How to stream HBO anywhere using a VPN
VPNs might seem complex at first, but they’re really quite simple to use. Below we explain exactly how to set up a HBO VPN so you can stream your favorite content online from anywhere.
Here’s how to unblock HBO from anywhere using a VPN:
- Start by registering with one of the VPNs below. We particularly recommend NordVPN.
- Download the appropriate version of the app for your device, install it, and log in.
- Connect to a server in a country where your desired HBO service is available. For instance, you’d use a US server to access HBO Max, or one in your home country to view your local HBO Go library while traveling abroad.
- Lastly, visit your chosen service and try watching a video. It should load immediately, without any errors appearing. If not, we’d recommend clearing your cookies and cache before trying again. Failing that, try a different server or contact your VPN’s support team for more assistance.
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Struggling to decide which VPN to use? We’ve found that, rather than obsessively trying to find the one that’s definitely the best at a given task, users are often better off with a well-rounded service. With this in mind, we decided that all of the VPNs we’re recommending should fit the criteria below:
- Must be able to unblock HBO Max, HBO Go, and HBO Now abroad
- Offers speeds that are high enough for HD live streaming
- Has strong encryption and a variety of powerful security features
- Doesn’t keep any logs that could identify you
- Provides apps for all of the most popular operating systems
Your time is valuable, so we’ve created an at-a-glance guide to the best VPNs for streaming HBO below. Of course, you can always just scroll down for a more detailed review of each.
Best VPNs for watching HBO online:
- NordVPN: Our top VPN for HBO streaming. Reliable high speeds and a top-notch security toolkit. Keeps no logs, unblocks lots of services, and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- Surfshark: The best way to watch HBO abroad on a budget. An affordable, zero-log provider with no connection limit and steady speeds. Also works well with platforms like Netflix.
- ExpressVPN: The fastest service on the market right now. Provides lots of security and privacy features, a huge number of server locations, and great unblocking ability.
- CyberGhost: An excellent choice for anyone new to VPNs. Very easy to use. Stream HBO safely with its high-speed servers, pre-configured security tools, and no-logging policy.
- IPVanish: Quick and lightweight, with no connection limit. Works with HBO Max and various other streaming services. Punches above its weight on security and privacy.
- PrivateVPN: A speedy, privacy-first service that’s known for its strong unblocking capabilities. Follows a strict zero-logs policy and has no issues unblocking HBO services abroad.
- Hotspot Shield: Provides a good balance of speed, security, and unblocking ability. Has easy-to-use apps and lots of server locations to choose from.
The best VPNs for HBO Max, Now, and Go
Let’s start taking a closer look at the best VPNs for HBO services:
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
NordVPN is our #1 choice for anyone hoping to stream HBO abroad. Firstly, this provider boasts some of the fastest speeds around, meaning you shouldn’t have to contend with lag or buffering. Better still, it’s capable of getting around even the strictest online blocking and works with notoriously tricky platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and DAZN. Further, with up to six simultaneous connections permitted, you can watch on whichever device you prefer.
If security is something you’re concerned about, NordVPN has you covered. It uses 256-bit AES encryption, a customizable kill switch, and protection against WebRTC, IPv6, and DNS leaks. That’s not all, though: it recently added its own WireGuard-based protocol named NordLynx and was independently audited to prove that it keeps no logs whatsoever. Users can add another layer of anonymity by paying in Bitcoin, Ethereum, or Ripple.
NordVPN has its own Android, Windows, iOS, MacOS, and Linux apps. It can also be manually installed on a wide range of wireless routers. If you need any assistance, you can reach support staff 24/7 over email and live chat.
- More than fast enough for streaming
- Unblocks HBO services with ease
- Constantly improving its security offering
- Verified no-logs policy
- Around-the-clock live chat available
- Desktop apps sometimes take a little longer to connect
BEST VPN FOR HBO:NordVPN is our top choice. It’s extremely versatile, with high speeds and an impressive array of security features. Works well with HBO and plenty of other services to boot. All plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee, meaning you can try it risk-free.
Why not take a look at our complete NordVPN review?
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
Surfshark is our top budget choice. It has around 3,200 servers in 65 countries worldwide and is more than fast enough for lag-free streaming, with an average speed of 71 Mbps. Further, it has no problems unblocking HBO Max, HBO Go, or HBO Now abroad. Another major selling point of this VPN is that it allows you to connect any number of devices at once. This stands in sharp contrast to many others, which limit you to just a handful of simultaneous connections.
Your data is secured using a kill switch, 256-bit encryption, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks. Additionally, Surfshark can block ads, trackers, and malware automatically, and recently added a feature that checks to see if any of your passwords have been leaked online. Best of all, this VPN follows a true no-logs policy, ensuring it can’t divulge details of your activities under any circumstances.
Surfshark apps are available for iOS, MacOS, Android, Windows, and Linux systems. If you’d prefer, it can also be manually installed on supported routers. The company operates a 247 help desk in case you run into any issues.
- Speedy servers that are perfect for live streaming
- Unblocks lots of popular services
- Impressive set of security features
- Keeps no logs
- Lets you connect any number of devices
- Customer support has room for improvement
BEST BUDGET VPN:Surfshark is our top budget recommendation. It gives you the freedom to access a huge range of geo-blocked services on whichever device you like. Further, its security and privacy features are among the best around. There’s even a 30-day money-back guarantee!
Interested? Read the full Surfshark review for more details.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
ExpressVPN has a lot to offer users looking to watch HBO abroad. Its primary selling point is speed: with an average download speed of 135 Mbps, this is the fastest VPN we’ve tested. It’s also great at unblocking geo-restricted services, allowing you to stream HBO Max, Hulu, and several Netflix libraries from anywhere in the world. There is a five-connection limit in place, but this should be enough for you to protect all of your most-used devices at once.
This service all but ensures your privacy using 256-bit encryption, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, and a kill switch that stops sending data any time your VPN connection drops suddenly. Users can also choose to allow certain apps to bypass the VPN entirely if they’d like. ExpressVPN refuses to keep any traffic logs, and as such, can’t reveal what you get up to online, even in the face of legal pressure.
ExpressVPN comes with apps for Windows, Linux, MacOS, Android, and iOS. Additionally, it has its own custom firmware for routers (which recently had an upgrade, making it faster and easier to use). Customer support operates 24/7, over both email and live chat.
- Exceptionally high speeds
- Works well with HBO and HBO Max
- Great security and privacy credentials
- Pay anonymously with Bitcoin
- Slightly higher price than some others
FLAWLESS STREAMING:ExpressVPN can access all manner of geo-blocked services, HBO included. Its speeds are second to none and there’s a real emphasis on user privacy as well. This VPN offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Check out our in-depth ExpressVPN review.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
CyberGhost has specific servers designed to unblock HBO Max, and these also work with HBO Now. Of course, there are nearly 7,000 others to choose from (in 91 countries), making it an extremely versatile option capable of handling almost any task. With an average speed of 58 Mbps, you shouldn’t have any issues streaming HD or even 4K content. This service allows up to seven simultaneous connections per account.
One of the best things about CyberGhost is that it makes staying safe as easy as possible. For instance, 256-bit encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS and IPv6 leaks are all enabled by default. What’s more, recent updates to the apps have brought features like WireGuard support and the ability to see if any of your passwords have been breached. This provider doesn’t store any traffic logs and provides monthly transparency reports.
CyberGhost users can install apps for Linux, MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. Alternatively, it’s possible to manually configure this VPN to work with supported home routers. If you need any help, support staff are on-hand day and night over email and live chat.
- Quick and reliable connections
- Dedicated HBO streaming servers
- No-fuss security
- Strives for ease of use
- Could offer more control over advanced functionality
WATCH HBO ANYWHERE:CyberGhost takes the trial and error out of streaming HBO. In fact, its streaming servers ensure you can start watching safely in a single click. This provider also offers powerful security and privacy tools, plus a 45-day money-back guarantee.
Why not take a look at our full CyberGhost review?
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
IPVanish can access HBO Max, HBO Now, and HBO Go from abroad. In fact, with 1,600 servers in around 60 countries worldwide, you have plenty of options when it comes to accessing region-locked content. This service recently improved its infrastructure, leading to increased speeds (52 Mbps on average), but its real selling point is that it allows an unlimited number of simultaneous connections. As such, it’s a particularly strong choice for families or simply those with lots of devices to protect.
This is a zero-logs VPN, so naturally, it includes a good number of security and privacy tools. There’s 256-bit encryption, for instance, plus DNS and IPv6 leak protection, a kill switch, and the ability to scramble your OpenVPN traffic to hide the fact that you’re using a VPN at all. Further, the service plans to add support for the WireGuard protocol in the near future.
IPVanish apps are available for MacOS, iOS, Windows, and Android. Linux users and anyone hoping to secure their router will have to follow manual setup instructions. Luckily, there’s 24/7 support (live chat and email) to help you out if you get stuck.
- Works with popular services like HBO and Netflix US
- Takes user security seriously
- Strict zero-logs policy
- No connection limit
- May have to try a few servers to find one that works
GREAT FOR PRIVACY:IPVanish puts your privacy first with a true no-logs policy and top-notch security features. Better still, it lets you take advantage of these on all of your devices at once. Unblocks HBO services from outside of the US and has a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Read our full review of IPVanish.
Money-back guarantee: 30 DAYS
PrivateVPN has recently expanded its network and now offers access to around 200 servers in 60+ countries. With an average speed of 71 Mbps and the ability to bypass even the toughest geographic restrictions, this is a fantastic option for streaming HBO outside of the US. In fact, your options are near limitless, since it works with platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video too. Up to six devices can be connected at once.
Your browsing habits remain hidden at all times thanks to PrivateVPN’s 256-bit encryption, app-specific kill switch, and leak protection. Additionally, as this provider doesn’t store any logs, there’s no need to worry about your activities being traced back to you at a later date. A built-in stealth mode lets you evade VPN-detection features and use the web freely, even in places like China.
PrivateVPN has its own Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and MacOS apps. What’s more, it can be manually configured for use with a wide range of network routers. Live chat and email-based support are available most hours of the day.
- Provides better than average speeds
- Exceptional unblocking capabilities
- Strong focus on security and privacy
- Help desk goes offline for a few hours each day
- Has quite a small network
FAST NO-LOGS VPN:PrivateVPN combines speed, security, and a no-logging policy to create an extremely adaptable service. Lets you safely watch HBO, torrent, or use the internet while traveling. Still not sure? Why not take advantage of its 30-day money-back guarantee?
Check out our complete review of PrivateVPN.
Money-back guarantee: 45 DAYS
Hotspot Shield lets you use HBO Max, HBO Go, and HBO Now from anywhere. However, its streaming servers only unblock the first two of these; you’ll have to try regular US servers to find one that works with HBO Now. Still, with high speeds and unlimited bandwidth, you shouldn’t notice any lag or buffering when you do gain access. Up to five simultaneous connections are permitted too, so you won’t have to leave one device unprotected to stream on another.
This VPN protects your privacy using a kill switch, DNS and IPv6 leak protection, automatic wifi protection, and 256-bit AES encryption (which is effectively uncrackable). It even has its own proprietary protocol, named Catapult Hydra, though its apps recently received IKEv2 support as well. Crucially, Hotspot Shield doesn’t keep any data by which you could be identified.
Hotspot Shield comes with apps for Linux, MacOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. However, manual setup is required for supported routers. This service provides 24/7 email and chat support in case you need any help.
- Solid speeds and unlimited bandwidth
- Unblocks all HBO streaming services
- Strong security features
- Streaming servers don’t unblock HBO Now (but some regular ones do)
- Had past privacy issues
FAST AND RELIABLE:Hotspot Shield is an impressive, speedy VPN with lots to offer. Notably, it boasts strong unblocking ability, a real focus on user security, and a generous 45-day money-back guarantee.
Take a look at our comprehensive Hotspot Shield review.
Methodology: Finding the best VPNs for watching HBO
You can’t just install the first VPN you see and expect it to work perfectly with HBO services. Unblocking major streaming platforms is actually quite difficult to do, and your VPN will also have to offer high enough speeds and servers in the right locations. Here are some of the criteria we used to choose the best VPNs for HBO:
- Speed: Streaming is fairly data-intensive, so we only recommend services that score above-average in our most recent speed tests.
- Network: We check to see if a provider has servers in any of HBO’s supported countries, and if so, how many. More servers usually means a more stable connection.
- Value for money: Not every VPN is worth what it costs. We evaluate all of their features, functionality, and real-world potential to determine whether a candidate is priced fairly. If not, we simply won’t recommend it.
- User-friendliness: We only recommend VPNs that are easy enough for complete beginners to use. We’re particularly fond of those that offer apps for a wide range of devices, and those that allow any number of connections.
- Security features: To ensure you can stream HBO safely, our top VPNs must include powerful security tools including encryption, a kill switch, and protection against DNS leaks. Further, a no-logs policy is simply non-negotiable.
- Streaming potential: Sooner or later, you’ll probably want to watch something other than HBO. We pit each VPN against popular platforms like Netflix, Disney+, and Hulu to see which it can (and can’t) unblock.
It’s worth mentioning that the analysis above forms just one small part of our broader VPN testing methodology.
Streaming HBO from abroad: FAQs
Can I watch HBO with a free VPN?
We advise against using a free VPN for streaming. To begin with, they usually can’t unblock major streaming platforms. Even if they can, they’re often blacklisted shortly afterward due to the high amount of traffic coming from a relatively small pool of IP addresses. Further, with so many users all sharing what is often a very limited network, you can expect slow speeds, which might limit you to SD video, if you can even get streams to stop buffering in the first place.
If you’re concerned about security, you could do far better than a free VPN. In fact, by choosing one of these, you may actually be putting yourself at risk. Research indicates that a staggering number of free VPNs contain malware and equally concerning, 18% don’t even encrypt your traffic. For this reason, we strongly recommend considering a provider’s logging policy, security credentials, and reputation into account instead of making a decision based on price alone.
What is the difference between HBO Max, HBO Now, and HBO Go?
Let’s face it: HBO doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to naming its streaming services. To make matters worse, in 2020, it rebranded one of them, and began sunsetting another entirely. Below, we’ll explain all the differences between HBO Now, HBO Go, and HBO Max:
- HBO Go: This service allows users who receive HBO as part of their cable TV package to watch online. It’s still technically available in places like Latin America but is being slowly phased out in favor of HBO Max. Notably, many cable subscribers can get HBO Max at no added cost.
- HBO Max: HBO’s newest streaming service. Offers a wide range of on-demand movies and TV shows, and has become known as the first place to get high-profile releases like Zack Snyder’s Justice League and Wonder Woman 1984.
- HBO (previously HBO Now): An on-demand streaming service that lets you watch all of HBO’s original programming. Still available but essentially pointless, as it costs the same as HBO Max, which has all of the same content and more.
What can I watch on HBO Max?
HBO has been responsible for some of the biggest hits TV has seen in recent years. That said, HBO Max also provides content from other networks and publishers. Below, we’ve listed a few instantly-recognizable titles you can stream on HBO Max: